Why Does My Humidifier’s Water Turn Black?

Every wonder why does my humidifier water turn black?

Your humidifier water turns black because you aren’t using distilled water which leads to mineral deposits. These miners like calcium, sodium, and magnesium can settle and eventually turn your humidifier’s water black. Your water can also turn black from a dirty filter.

Below you’ll find out how to prevent humidifier mold and how to clean your humidifier.

Let’s get started.

Why Does My Humidifier Water Turn Black?

Your humidifier water will turn black if you are using tap water instead of distilled water.

The mineral deposits from the calcium, magnesium, and sodium from the tap water will eventually turn the humidifier water black.

Another reason your humidifier is turning black is from black mold.

Mold can be green, black, or brown and your humidifier’s tank is no exception.

The best way to prevent mold in your humidifier tank is by giving it thorough cleanings and using the right type of water.

If you have mold on your humidifier, you’ll need to give it a cleaning with white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and let it air dry before using it again.

It’s important to maintain your humidifier by not using tap water and giving it thorough cleanings.

Even filtered tap water through a Brita filter is not going to be enough to stop mineral particles in the air.

Only use distilled water to avoid your humidifier turning black.

How to Prevent Your Humidifier Water from Turning Black

1. Keep it clean

You should clean your humidifier with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide at least once a week.

You may think that’s a bit much, but you’re directly breathing in the cold or warm mist that it’s giving off.

It’s important to maintain your humidifier water tank to avoid any black stuff from growing in your tank.

2. Use the right water

The only water you should be used in a humidifier is distilled water.

Tap water is going to leave mineral deposits that can lead to your humidifier water turning black.

You will avoid mineral build up this way and avoid any mold spores from getting into your humidifier.

It’ll make maintaining your water tank easy (and extend the life of your humidifier) as you won’t have any mineral deposits to clean out.

3. Replace the water tank

If you find that your humidifier’s water turns black no matter what you do, replacing the tank can be a good option.

This may be difficult as sourcing just the tank for your humidifier is dependent on your manufacturer.

If your humidifier is a portable version, it may be worth considering replacing it altogether.

4. Empty the tank when not in use

Even distilled water left in a humidifier can eventually get moldy if left stagnant.

While the distilled water itself does not get moldy, it can come into contact with pollutants over time.

It’s best to empty the humidifier and let it air dry if you aren’t going to use it.

5. Rinse the filter

If your humidifier has a filter, it’s imperative that you clean or replace it.

It’s recommended to change out your filter every three months to a year depending on the make and model.

How to Clean the Mold Out of Your Humidifier

  1. Pour a mixture of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to four parts warm distilled water in your humidifier tank
  2. Shake it around and let it sit for half an hour to an hour
  3. Pour it out and give it a rinse

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide, you can use bleach, vinegar (do not mix bleach and vinegar), lemon juice, and even baking soda to help aid in getting rid of black mold growth.

If your humidifier has a lot of mineral deposits that you want to get rid of, then you can use a soft-thistled toothbrush to scrub them off.

Be sure to avoid damaging the wick filter as you aren’t going to be able to clean that part of your humidifier without potentially damaging it

How do You Know if Your Humidifier Has Mold?

One way to know if your humidifier has mold is by looking inside.

Do you notice any black or brown stuff in the water tank?

Does it smell like a basement in the room your humidifier is in? Have you not cleaned your humidifier in a while?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, there is a chance that there is mold in your humidifier.

If you do suspect there is any mold, give it a thorough cleaning before using it again.

What To Do If Your Humidifier Water Stays Black Even After Cleaning

If your humidifier water stays black even though you keep your humidifier clean and you avoid using tap water, it’s time to get a replacement.

It could be that mold is growing inside of the humidifier and you aren’t able to clean those areas fully.

Final Thoughts

The answer to “why does my humidifier water turn black” is that you have put the wrong water in your humidifier’s tank, there is mold growing or the filter has gone bad.

If you believe that there is mold growth in your humidifier, then give it a thorough cleaning with hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.

Make sure that you’re using distilled water and not tap or filtered water.

If you find that no matter what you do, your humidifier’s water continues to turn black or brown, then you should look into replacing your humidifier.

Notice your humidifier making a strange noise? Troubleshoot your issues here.

Image Credit: Flickr.com

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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